Texas Workers' Compensation

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§ 401.011. General Definitions

In this subtitle:

(1) “Adjuster” means a person licensed under Chapter 4101, Insurance Code.

(2) “Administrative violation” means a violation of this subtitle, a rule adopted under this subtitle, or an order or decision of the commissioner that is subject to penalties and sanctions as provided by this subtitle.

(3) “Agreement” means the resolution by the parties to a dispute under this subtitle of one or more issues regarding an injury, death, coverage, compensability, or compensation. The term does not include a settlement.

(4) “Alien” means a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

(5) “Benefit” means a medical benefit, an income benefit, a death benefit, or a burial benefit based on a compensable injury.

(5-a) “Case management” means a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s health needs through communication and application of available resources to promote quality, cost-effective outcomes.

(6) “Certified self-insurer” means a private employer granted a certificate of authority to self-insure, as authorized by this subtitle, for the payment of compensation.

(7) “Child” means a son or daughter. The term includes an adopted child or a stepchild who is a dependent of the employee.

(8) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of workers’ compensation.

(9) “Commute” means to pay in a lump sum.

(10) “Compensable injury” means an injury that arises out of and in the course and scope of employment for which compensation is payable under this subtitle.

(11) “Compensation” means payment of a benefit.

(12) “Course and scope of employment” means an activity of any kind or character that has to do with and originates in the work, business, trade, or profession of the employer and that is performed by an employee while engaged in or about the furtherance of the affairs or business of the employer. The term includes an activity conducted on the premises of the employer or at other locations. The term does not include:

(A) transportation to and from the place of employment unless:

(i) the transportation is furnished as a part of the contract of employment or is paid for by the employer;

(ii) the means of the transportation are under the control of the employer; or

(iii) the employee is directed in the employee’s employment to proceed from one place to another place; or

(B) travel by the employee in the furtherance of the affairs or business of the employer if the travel is also in furtherance of personal or private affairs of the employee unless:

(i) the travel to the place of occurrence of the injury would have been made even had there been no personal or private affairs of the employee to be furthered by the travel; and

(ii) the travel would not have been made had there been no affairs or business of the employer to be furthered by the travel.

(12-a) “Credentialing” has the meaning assigned by Chapter 1305, Insurance Code.

(13) “Death benefit” means a payment made under this subtitle to a legal beneficiary because of the death of an employee.

(13-a) “Department” means the Texas Department of Insurance.

(14) “Dependent” means an individual who receives a regular or recurring economic benefit that contributes substantially to the individual’s welfare and livelihood if the individual is eligible for distribution of benefits under Chapter 408.

(15) “Designated doctor” means a doctor appointed by mutual agreement of the parties or by the division to recommend a resolution of a dispute as to the medical condition of an injured employee.

(16) “Disability” means the inability because of a compensable injury to obtain and retain employment at wages equivalent to the preinjury wage.

(16-a) “Division” means the division of workers’ compensation of the department.

(17) “Doctor” means a doctor of medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, dentistry, podiatry, or chiropractic who is licensed and authorized to practice.

(18) “Employer” means, unless otherwise specified, a person who makes a contract of hire, employs one or more employees, and has workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The term includes a governmental entity that self-insures, either individually or collectively.

(18-a) “Evidence-based medicine” means the use of current best quality scientific and medical evidence formulated from credible scientific studies, including peer-reviewed medical literature and other current scientifically based texts, and treatment and practice guidelines in making decisions about the care of individual patients.

(19) “Health care” includes all reasonable and necessary medical aid, medical examinations, medical treatments, medical diagnoses, medical evaluations, and medical services. The term does not include vocational rehabilitation. The term includes:

(A) medical, surgical, chiropractic, podiatric, optometric, dental, nursing, and physical therapy services provided by or at the direction of a doctor;

(B) physical rehabilitation services performed by a licensed occupational therapist provided by or at the direction of a doctor;

(C) psychological services prescribed by a doctor;

(D) the services of a hospital or other health care facility;

(E) a prescription drug, medicine, or other remedy; and

(F) a medical or surgical supply, appliance, brace, artificial member, or prosthetic or orthotic device, including the fitting of, change or repair to, or training in the use of the appliance, brace, member, or device.

(20) “Health care facility” means a hospital, emergency clinic, outpatient clinic, or other facility providing health care.

(21) “Health care practitioner” means:

(A) an individual who is licensed to provide or render and provides or renders health care; or

(B) a nonlicensed individual who provides or renders health care under the direction or supervision of a doctor.

(22) “Health care provider” means a health care facility or health care practitioner.

(22-a) “Health care reasonably required” means health care that is clinically appropriate and considered effective for the injured employee’s injury and provided in accordance with best practices consistent with:

(A) evidence-based medicine; or

(B) if that evidence is not available, generally accepted standards of medical practice recognized in the medical community.

(23) “Impairment” means any anatomic or functional abnormality or loss existing after maximum medical improvement that results from a compensable injury and is reasonably presumed to be permanent.

(24) “Impairment rating” means the percentage of permanent impairment of the whole body resulting from a compensable injury.

(25) “Income benefit” means a payment made to an employee for a compensable injury. The term does not include a medical benefit, death benefit, or burial benefit.

(25-a) “Independent review organization” has the same meaning as in Section 1305.004(a)(11), Insurance Code.

(26) “Injury” means damage or harm to the physical structure of the body and a disease or infection naturally resulting from the damage or harm. The term includes an occupational disease.

(27) “Insurance carrier” means:

(A) an insurance company;

(B) a certified self-insurer for workers’ compensation insurance;

(C) a certified self-insurance group under Chapter 407A; or

(D) a governmental entity that self-insures, either individually or collectively.

(28) “Insurance company” means a person authorized and admitted by the Texas Department of Insurance to do insurance business in this state under a certificate of authority that includes authorization to write workers’ compensation insurance.

(29) “Legal beneficiary” means a person entitled to receive a death benefit under this subtitle.

(30) “Maximum medical improvement” means the earlier of:

(A) the earliest date after which, based on reasonable medical probability, further material recovery from or lasting improvement to an injury can no longer reasonably be anticipated;

(B) the expiration of 104 weeks from the date on which income benefits begin to accrue; or

(C) the date determined as provided by Section 408.104.

(31) “Medical benefit” means payment for health care reasonably required by the nature of a compensable injury and intended to:

(A) cure or relieve the effects naturally resulting from the compensable injury, including reasonable expenses incurred by the employee for necessary treatment to cure and relieve the employee from the effects of an occupational disease before and after the employee knew or should have known the nature of the disability and its relationship to the employment;

(B) promote recovery; or

(C) enhance the ability of the employee to return to or retain employment.

(31-a) “Network” or “workers’ compensation health care network” means an organization that is:

(A) formed as a health care provider network to provide health care services to injured employees;

(B) certified in accordance with Chapter 1305, Insurance Code, and rules of the commissioner of insurance; and

(C) established by, or operates under contract with, an insurance carrier.

(32) “Objective” means independently verifiable or confirmable results that are based on recognized laboratory or diagnostic tests, or signs confirmable by physical examination.

(33) “Objective clinical or laboratory finding” means a medical finding of impairment resulting from a compensable injury, based on competent objective medical evidence, that is independently confirmable by a doctor, including a designated doctor, without reliance on the subjective symptoms perceived by the employee.

(34) “Occupational disease” means a disease arising out of and in the course of employment that causes damage or harm to the physical structure of the body, including a repetitive trauma injury. The term includes a disease or infection that naturally results from the work-related disease. The term does not include an ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed outside of employment, unless that disease is an incident to a compensable injury or occupational disease.

(34-a) “Orthotic device” means a custom-fitted or custom-fabricated medical device that is applied to a part of the human body to correct a deformity, improve function, or relieve symptoms related to a compensable injury or occupational disease.

(35) “Penalty” means a fine established by this subtitle.

(35-a) “Prosthetic device” means an artificial device designed to replace, wholly or partly, an arm or leg.

(36) “Repetitive trauma injury” means damage or harm to the physical structure of the body occurring as the result of repetitious, physically traumatic activities that occur over time and arise out of and in the course and scope of employment.

(37) “Representative” means a person, including an attorney, authorized by the commissioner to assist or represent an employee, a person claiming a death benefit, or an insurance carrier in a matter arising under this subtitle that relates to the payment of compensation.

(38) “Research center” means the research functions of the Texas Department of Insurance required under Chapter 405.

(38-a) “Retrospective review” means the utilization review process of reviewing the medical necessity and reasonableness of health care that has been provided to an injured employee.

(39) “Sanction” means a penalty or other punitive action or remedy imposed by the commissioner on an insurance carrier, representative, employee, employer, or health care provider for an act or omission in violation of this subtitle or a rule, order, or decision of the commissioner.

(40) “Settlement” means a final resolution of all the issues in a workers’ compensation claim that are permitted to be resolved under the terms of this subtitle.

(41) “Subjective” means perceivable only by an employee and not independently verifiable or confirmable by recognized laboratory or diagnostic tests or signs observable by physical examination.

(42) “Treating doctor” means the doctor who is primarily responsible for the employee’s health care for an injury.

(42-a) “Utilization review” has the meaning assigned by Chapter 4201, Insurance Code.

(42-b) “Utilization review agent” has the meaning assigned by Chapter 4201, Insurance Code.

(42-c) “Violation” means an administrative violation subject to penalties and sanctions as provided by this subtitle.

(43) “Wages” includes all forms of remuneration payable for a given period to an employee for personal services. The term includes the market value of board, lodging, laundry, fuel, and any other advantage that can be estimated in money that the employee receives from the employer as part of the employee’s remuneration.

(44) “Workers’ compensation insurance coverage” means:

(A) an approved insurance policy to secure the payment of compensation;

(B) coverage to secure the payment of compensation through self-insurance as provided by this subtitle; or

(C) coverage provided by a governmental entity to secure the payment of compensation.

Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1443, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 275, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.003, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 133 (H.B. 1003), § 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 134 (H.B. 1006), § 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 147 (S.B. 458), § 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1330 (H.B. 4290), § 13, eff. September 1, 2009.

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At a Glance:

Title:

§ 401.011. General Definitions

Code:

Labor Code

Status:

Current

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